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Jan. 18, 1938. E. H. MALTBY 2,105,922 CONVEYER Filed Nov. 26, 1934 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 15rd floor Edward HMQZ@ Jan. 18, 1938. E. H. MAL’TBY 2,105,922 CONVEYER , Filed NOV. 26, 1934 ‘ 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Jan._18, 1938. E. H.‘ MALTBY 2,105,922 CONVEYER Filed Nov. 26, I934 . 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Jan. 18, 1938. E. H. MALTBY 2,105,922 ' CONVEYER Filed Nov. 26, 1934 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 03000000 J‘ | 0 Patented Jan. 18, 1938 2,105,922 UNi'i‘ED stares earner series 2,105,922 CONVEYER Edward H. Maltby, White Bear Lake, Minn” as signor to Standard Conveyor Company, a cor poration of Minnesota. Application November 26, 1934, Serial No. 754,721 14 Claims. (Cl. 193-36) the movable guide rails and actuating mecha plurality of vertically spaced convolutions, it is nism; In connection with spiral conveyors having a frequently desirable to take off or divert the loads or feed them to the main conveyer at one or O more points intermediate the ends of the main conveyer. The switch devices heretofore provided have been cumbersome, relatively di?icult to op erate and have occupied such space that they are unsuited for use with a spiral conveyer where 10 the available space is small, as in cases where the pitch or vertical spacing of the convolutions is of relatively small size. It is an object of the present invention to pro- Fig. 5 is a side elevation illustrating the switch in detail with the supporting and guiding mech en anism for the several rollers; Fig. 6 is an isometric-bottom view illustrating a pair of the roller assemblies and their guiding arms; Fig. 7 is a similar view of one of the rollers and arm, as seen from the top; 10 Fig. 8 is a plan view showing my improved switch in connection with a straight main con veyer and a pair of branch or intersecting con vide a compact, smoothly operating section of 15 a spiral conveyer which may be quickly and easily moved laterally to switch loads to or from veyers; Fig. 9 is a plan View of a supporting plate for 15' the switch rollers; a branch conveyer, chute or place of deposit Fig. 10 is a plan view of one of the frame mem for the load. ‘ bars with perforations for the roller guide pivots, A particular object is to provide a novel sec- and 20 tion of rollers adapted to constitute a part of a spiral or curved conveyer and having individual rollers which are relatively movable to extend at various angles to each other. I Fig- 11 is a Central Vertical Section thI‘OIIgh One 210 of the ball casters for supporting the rollers Referring to Fig- 1, the numeral l2 indieetes . the spiral conveyer down which the loads, usu' Another object of the invention is to provide 25 novel and ef?cient supporting and guiding means ally in the form of packages or other containers of goods, may he Carried from the third floor I3 t0 the ?rst ?oor M. one Of my improved Switches l5 forms a part Of the main conveyer and is adapted in One position to divert the leads to a branch conveyer ll located at a second floor I6. In the Construction Of the Switch ‘5, shown ‘in detail in Figs. 2 to 11 inclusive, a smooth metal plate “3 of Size and Shape Suitable to Support a Series Of conveyer l‘ellel‘s, indicated by the ml merals l9 to 26 respectively, is mounted on a Suitable frame to extend Substantially hOIiZOIItelly 01“ at e Slight ihelihe- Extending parallel t0 and beneath each of the Tellers 59 t0 26 iS a rigid bar 27 carrying 011 its ends upstanding, ?anged members ‘28 Which Support the axial §hafts or §tuds 29 upon which the _r°ne1_'s are 3°P¥na1ed m a’ manner Well known In thls art‘ for individually movable rollers in a switch of the type in which said rollers are adapted to extend radially to a curve or in parallel relation to each other to form a straight section, 30 A further object is to provide a switch having individually movable rollers at the junction of intersecting conveyers and novel mechanism for guiding the loads along said rollers to either of the intersecting conveyers. 35 Other objects are to facilitate the movement of such a switch and render it more durable by providing antifriction supports for the rollers and a novel arrangement of pivoted and intercon- nected arms adapted to coordinate the movement 40 of the individual rollers and retain them at all times approximately radially to the curve formed 25' 30 35 40 by the Switch Rigidly secured to each end of each of the bars Referring to the accompanying drawings which ‘a’, 1.5 an angle Chp a’vmg 2" downwafrdly pro‘ illustrate the best form of my device at'present 45 known to me. = 1 to a ?ange 3| on a foot piece 32. Each foot plece 4'5 Figure 1 is’ a diagrammatic muymtion of a typical Spiral conveyer with my immjm‘fed takpo? . . . "" . ' or Switch’ a portion of the 5mm} being broken Jectmg ?ange 30 whlch .ove?a‘psland 1S secltred v 32 has mounted on its bottom. a ball caster 33, preferably constructed as illustrated in Fig. 11, to reduce friction to a minimum. The caster illustrated has a relatively large spherical mem 50 away to P1016 clearly_ show the sW1tch;_ _ 7mg‘ 2 1S 9' perspecPve ‘new of the Switch’ mam ber 34 con?ned by a casing which is ?anged in- 50 ward to retain the said member. A multiplicity splr a1 conveyer and omnch conveyer; Fig- 3 is at 101811 View Of the Switch and adjacent portions of the Spiral and branch eehveyers; 55 Fig, 4 is e Side elevation particularly Showing of relatively small balls 35 are revolubly mounted between the upper surface of the member 34 and a concavely spherical seat 36. It will be under stood that the contacting surfaces of the mem- 55 2 2,105,922 hers 34, 35 and 35 are hard and durable and that the member 34 is free to rotate in all directions in use. To guide the several rollers l9 to 26 in different arcs on the plate I8, I provide arms 31, 38, 39, 40, 4|, 42, 43 and 44 extending in overlapping relation to each other and movable in planes substantially parallel to the plate 48. Projecting downward from one end of the arm 31 is a piv 10 otal support 45 having a reduced stud or pin 46 ?tting in a perforation 41 in the plate i8 and in a perforation 48 in a plate 49 extending par allel to the plate l8 (see Figs. 5, 9 and 10). “The arm 3'! is rigidly secured to the bottom of the 15 bar 21 supporting the roller [9 and extends-at right angles to said bar. The arms 38 to 44 are progressively longer than the arm 3'! and each has a pivotal support similar to the support 145 and is connected to one of the roller supports 21 so as to guide the several rollers in arcs having radii of different lengths and with centers spaced longitudinally of the conveyer. Thus the roller 26 is guided by the arm ‘44 of greatestlength and this arm has'a pivotal support 50 of the smallest 25 dimension vertically and "having bearings in a perforation v51' (Fig. 9) in the plate 18 and a 20 perforation ‘52 in ‘the plate 49 (Fig. 10). ‘Similar perforations in the plates l8 and 49 afford :bear rails above. A stop 55a is provided for the free end of the rail 55 and a similar stop 56a for the rail 56. To frictionally retain the section of the rollers in operative positions, small lugs 65 are mounted on or formed in the plate [8 and are so located that a pair of said lugs are adapted to receive the ball casters supporting the roller 26 between them in each operative position of the switch. Thus one pair of the lugs 65 frictionally retains the switch in its curved position and an 10 other pair retains the switch in its straight posi tion against accidental movement. These lugs .65sproject only slightly from the face of the plate l8 so as to permit the ball casters to pass over them with the desired ease when the switch is operated. Another typical use of my invention is shown in Fig. '8 wherein a main, straight conveyer is in dicated by the numeral 66 and two branch con veyers‘by the numerals 61 and 68 respectively. 20 In this arrangement, the supporting plate :69 .for the'movable section [5 of rollers is substantially hexagonal in plan and said switch section of rollers maybemoved from the straight position illustrated to such curved positions as to connect with and deliver loads to .or‘from (depending on the direction of .the slope) either of the branch conveyers 61 and 68. ings for "the pivotal supports .forthe arms 38 30 to 43 inclusive, the several pivotal axes ‘being in ‘ 30 a common v‘vertical plane. vAs clearly shown .iin With a curved or spiral main conveyer the Fig.-5,~the ?anges 3G and ‘3| for‘the several rollers switch section l5 of rollers may be'normally re tained‘in a curved position, such ‘as'that shown in Figs. 2 and 3. The end iroller'26 is held 'in proper alignment'with the curve by the lugs 65 are of various heights and .overlap‘sul‘?ciently to give the desired slope to the rollers and to com pensate for the thickness-‘oflthe arms 31 to '43 inclusive. Each of the ‘arms 31 to 43.inclusive is provided near its ‘free end with ‘a downwardly projecting stud 53 engaging in a slot 54 formed in ‘the immediately subjacent arm. The slots 54‘are elongated longitudinally of the :arms to permit movement of .the several rollersin the required arcs. . As best shown in Figs. 2, 3 and 4,1 provide-guide 45 rails 55 and .56 having a common pivotal support 51 mounted near the junction of the branch con veyer ‘I1 with the main conveyer l2. The rail 55ais curved to con'iorm‘to the curve of the outer side of the spiral ‘and the rail 56 is substantially 50 straight to guide the loads from'the spiral in a straight line ‘along the switch section when’ the latter is actuated‘to connect with the branch con veyer I1. "The rails 55 and 56 are rigidly con— nected together to swing above the switch sec~ 55 tion and are rigidly secured to the pivotal sup port '51 which has bearings in thelplates 18 and 49 at its lower end and a bearing-58 supported on anangle bar 59 projecting above the conveyer. Anv oblique brace member 66 connects the upper 60 end of the pivotal support '5'! to the rails 55 and 56 at a point removed from the pivot. To facili tate actuating these rails ‘from one operativepo sition to'the other, a lever 6| is'?xed on the upper end of the pivotal support 51 and is ar 65 ranged tobe actuated by a ?exible cable ‘62. This cable may be trained over guide pulleys, as in Fig. 1, where the‘switch section is located at ‘such elevation that its upper surface is inaccessible to the operator. 70 ‘ Operation ' ' ‘To coactwith the movable guide rails 55 and 56, stationary guide rails 63 and-64 are provided, as indicated in v‘Figs. 2 and 3, these rails being supported in obvious'manner on the plate l8 and at such an elevation above the ‘tops of the rollers 75 as to permit the ‘passage of the movable guide between which the supporting ball‘casters for-said roller are positioned and theother'rollers I9 to 25 are retained in proper radial positions by the interengaging studs '53 and slots '54. Travel‘of the load along the main conveyer is now guided 5 by the :side'rails, including the ‘stationary raili'53 and movable rail 55. When it is desired to take off or divert loads from the main conveyer to the branch conveyer H, the free end of the ‘switch section is moved laterally of the curve to a new 15 position in alignment with the branch’ conveyer and each of the individually supported rollers l9 to 26 moves on its own are and radius ‘to the new position in which the rollers, instead’ of be ing ‘radial in a curve, are disposed in parallel relation to each other. To guide the loads to the branch conveyer over the switch, the lever 6| is actuated to swing the guide rails ‘55 and 56 to such position that the latter rail is disposed in continuation of the side rail of the conveyer‘ll ‘ and in parallel, spaced relation to the stationary rail 64. ' ' It will be evident from Fig. 3 that the center lines of the arms 31 to 44 inclusive are all'tan (it) gential to the-center line of the curve ‘formed by the rollers H! to 26 and said arms may be, within the spirit of this invention, so located as to be substantially tangentialto any of a num ber of arcs having a common center with the con‘ veyer curve. ‘ I Movement of the switch ‘section from one posi tion .to vthe other is accomplished with ease and with a minimum of wear by reason of my ar . rangement of the anti-friction supports for the individual rollers and the positive guide for ‘each roller afforded by the armsl3'! to '44 inclusive with their freely turning pivots. The connectionsbe tween the rollers including the studs 53 engaging in the slots '54 insure the retention of each roller in its proper, substantially radial, relation to the 2,105,922 curve formed by the entire group. The entire structure is so compact that it is peculiarly adapted for use in a spiral conveyer where the clearance between convolutions is small and where the bodily substitution of a diverter sec tion for a section of the main conveyer would be impossible or impractical. It will be understood, however, that my invention is not limited in its use to a spiral conveyer but is adapted for use 10 wherever a movable roller switch is required or desirable. Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is: 1. The combination with a spiral conveyer having a plurality of vertically spaced convolu tions, of a switch comprising, a section of in dividually and laterally movable rollers for sup porting loads, connected together for movement in unison and adapted to form a part of said spiral conveyer in one position and in another position to form a branch conveyer, a support 3 of their pivots and means connecting‘said radius arms together for movement in unison, said roll ers being movable from positions in spaced, sub stantially parallel relation to eachother to posi— tions forming a curve with‘ the rollers extendingv substantially radially to each other. 6. A roller conveyer section comprising, a se ries of rollers, radius arms of progressively in creasing lengths severally connected to the suc cessive rollers of said section and pivotally sup ported independently of each other, said radius arms extending longitudinally of the conveyer and having pivot centers spaced apart along the conveyer, said rollers being movable under the guidance of said arms in arcs having different radii. '7. In a device of the class described, a plu rality of rollers, a supporting member extending longitudinally of each roller, anti-friction casters for supporting each of said members, a plate af fording a guiding and supporting surface for said ing plate extending beneath all of said rollers casters and radius arms severally connected to and means for supporting said rollers independ ently of each other on said plate, said independ 25 ent supports and plate being formed to maintain the axes of said rollers substantially horizontal in both of said positions. said roller-‘supporting members respectively and 2. In a device of the class described, a main conveyer, a branch conveyer arranged to inter 30 sect said main conveyer and an articulated sec tion of said main conveyer movable to connect said main conveyer to said branch conveyer com prising, a substantially horizontal, supporting plate, a series of rollers, pairs of legs spacing said rollers at progressively decreasing heights from said plate down the conveyer, said rollers and legs being movable laterally across and parallel to saidlplate, a series of radius arms severally connected to said rollers respectively for guiding 40 them upon said plate and means connecting said rollers together for movement in unison. 3. In a device of the class described, a main conveyer, a branch conveyer arranged to inter sect said main conveyer and an articulated sec 45 tion of said main conveyer movable to connect said main conveyer to said branch conveyer comprising, a supporting plate, a series of roll ers, means supporting said rollers for relative movement upon said plate, a series of radius 50 arms, each rigidly connected to one of said rollers at one end and extending at right angles thereto and pivotally supported at the other end on said plate and means projecting from each of said arms to slidably engage the adjacent arms 55 whereby said arms are joined together for move— ment in unison. ll. In a device of the class described, a main conveyer, a plurality of branch conveyers ar ranged to connect with said main conveyer and 60 an articulated section of said main conveyer movable to connect said main conveyer with either of said branch conveyers comprising, a supporting plate, a series of rollers, means sup porting said rollers for relative movement on said plate, a series of radius arms, each rigidly connected to the supporting means for one of said rollers at one end and having a ?xed pivot near its other end to swing substantially parallel to said plate and means operatively connecting said arms together for movement in unison. 5. A roller conveyer section comprising, a se ries of rollers, a radius arm secured to each of said rollers near one end and having a ?xed pivot near the other end, said radius arms be ing relatively movable in arcs about the axes pivoted to swing in substantially parallel relation ' to said plate, the several pivotal axes for said 25 arms being spaced apart longitudinally of the conveyer and said arms being of unequal length and progressively longer from one end of the group of rollers to the other. 8. In a device of the class described, a plurality 30 of rollers, a supporting member extending lon gitudinally of each roller, anti-friction casters for supporting each of said members, a plate af fording a guiding and supporting surface for said casters, radius arms severally connected near one 35 end to said roller-supporting members respec tively and severally having ?xed pivots near their other ends to guide the several rollers in di?er ent arcs upon said plate, the several pivotal axes for said arms being spaced apart longitudinally 40 of the conveyer and means connecting each of said arms to the adjacent arms for movement in unison. I 9. In a device of the class described, a plu rality of rollers, a supporting member extending 45 longitudinally of each roller, anti-friction casters for supporting each of said members, a plate af fording a guiding and supporting surface for said casters, radius arms severally connected to said roller-supporting members respectively, extend 50 ing substantially at right angles thereto, and pivoted to guide the several rollers in different arcs upon said plate, said arms being of un equal length and progressively longer from one end of the group of rollers to the other and 55 means connecting each of said arms to the adja cent arm. 10. In a spiral conveyer, a section of rollers severally adapted to extend radially as a spiral portion of said conveyer, ?xed means extend ing beneath ‘and at one side of said spiral por tion of the conveyer for guiding and supporting the individual rollers of said section for move ment laterally from said spiral, pairs of legs spac ing the individual rollers of said section in par allel relation to said guiding and supporting member above the same and at progressively'de creasing heights therefrom down the conveyer, said legs being movable upon the top of said ?xed 70 guiding and supporting means and means con necting said rollers together for lateral move ment to divert loads from said conveyer. ' 11. In a spiral conveyer, a section of rollers severally adapted to extend radially as a portion 75 2,105,922 ’of said conveyer, aplane, horizontal plate ‘for movement of the rollers of said section to divert supporting the individual rollers of said sec tion for movement laterally from said spiral, pairs of legs spacing the individual rollers of said section in parallel relation to said plate and at progressively decreasing heights therefrom down the conveyer, said legs being movable upon and across the :top surface vof said plate and means connecting said rollers together for lateral move 10 ment to divert loads from said conveyer. loads from said conveyor. 13. A roller conveyer switch comprising, a se~ ries of load supporting rollers, individual and sep arate supports for said rollers respectively, an arm secured to each of said supports, a ?xed pivot for each of said arms, said arms being relatively movable to different angular positions severally about the axes of their pivots and means con necting the several arms together for movement ,10 12. In a spiral conveyer, a section of rollers in unison, said rollers being relatively movable, severally adapted to extend radially as a spiral portion of said conveyer, ?xed means extending beneath and at one side of said spiral portion of 15 the conveyor for guiding and supporting the in dividual rollers of said section for movement laterally from said spiral, ‘pairs of legs spacing the individual rollers of said section in parallel relation above said guiding and supporting means and at progressively decreasing heights therefrom each under the guidance of one of said arms to form different curves. 14. A roller clonveyer section comprising, a se down the conveyer and arms severally connecting said rollers together and to said guiding and supporting means, said arms permitting lateral only and being maintained thereby with its axis ries of relatively movable, load supporting rollers and arms of progressively increasing lengths sev erally connected to the successive rollers of said section and each having a ?xed pivot near a ?xed end of the section, each of said rollers being movable under the guidance of one of said arms 4 radial to curves formed by the section. ‘ EDWARD H. MALTBY.